Complete Calisthenic Home Gym – The Essentials

If you’re looking to build a home gym that doesn’t require lots of bulky equipment and doesn’t take up too much room. A gym focused around bodyweight exercises could be what you are looking for. In this article we are going to look at what you need for a complete calisthenic home gym.

Having a calisthenic gym is a great option for those that don’t want to be restricted to having multiple large equipment in the same room in order to get a workout in. Not only do these machines take up a lot of valuable space, most of them come with a hefty price tag.

Although there are all-in-one style workout stations that allow you to get most of what you need with one convenient set up. Ultimately your workouts would would not suffer but you would be limited to specific routines.

Don’t get me wrong. Ellipticals, weight benches, treadmills are all great forms of fitness and if you have a need for any of them you definitely should go ahead and get one.

However, pointing out other forms of fitness and potential they have could help in reaching your goals and fitting your schedules in a better way.

Must Haves For A Complete Calisthenic Home Gym

Dip Bars

dip bars for a home gym

Having dip bars should be one of the top 3 priorities when starting your calisthenic home gym. Not only are the basic dips a beginner style workout. Dip bars can also be versatile enough to assist or provide you alternative bodyweight workouts.

A typical way of using these bars is to lower your body and push your way back up. But you can get more use out of it when having it be a tool to help you stretch. Even using it as a method of pull up variations or any exercise that requires the pull motion. Dip bars would be a great way to start progression.


parallettes for a home gym

Another piece of equipment that should be in the top 3 for any calisthenic home gym. Parallettes are also useful tools to help with a wide range of body exercises. Most parallettes are shaped similarly to dip bars but are significantly smaller and much lower to the ground.

Workouts involving the parallettes typically focus on the arms, shoulders, back, chest and core. With exercises ranging from inclined push ups to more advanced techniques like the L-sits and handstand push ups.

Using parallettes for even the most basic style of exercise, like the push up, can help elevate the difficulty of the given exercise. Performing a push up on the parallette would will help strength your core and stabilizing muscles since you are no longer anchored to the ground.

Pull Up Bar

Pull up exercises are going to be a main part of your calisthenic routine. Finding the right pull up bar could be a big decision. Most doorway pull up bars could fit your need if you’re just starting out. Just make sure to allow enough head space so there is no risk to injury.

Possible issues with a doorway pull up bar is the space, and the restrictions that can come with it. As your progress with pull ups. You may want to challenge yourself with progressions like archer pull ups or high pull ups, that would require your upper body to be above the bar.

Assuming you have ceiling space to perform these exercises. Power towers or other stable free standing pull up and muscle up racks may be a more suitable option. Since it would give you the choice of where to set up the pull up station, or even give you the option of working out outside.

Gymnast Rings

If you’re just starting out on calisthenics. Gymnast rings are more of a “nice to have” piece of equipment. Simply because most homes may not have high enough ceilings to comfortable fit the needs of the exercise.

Most common places to install the rings would be a garage or basement, since they are likely the best places that are out of the way of any high traffic area in your home.

Installing gymnastic rings, is a pretty big task on its own too. If you are aware of secure beams in your home that can comfortably hold your body and is high enough for you to perform the exercises. Those spots may be the perfect are to where you build out your calisthenics home gym.

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are a very versatile piece of equipment that is also very inexpensive. With resistance bands you’re able to have a plethora of exercises whether as a warm up or simple movement exercises that require a little resistance.

They are also able great additions if you’re looking to increase weighted force in your exercise or even if you’re needing assistance. Anchoring resistance bands to stable inanimate objects can be used to make workouts a bit harder and also helping you practice the form you are looking for in a specific workout.

Floor Mats

There should be some type of floor mat that covers a specific area of your home gym. Depending on what kind of exercise you’re doing and how thick of a floor mat you’re looking to get. Having the right floor mat overall will give a better workout experience.

Aside from just comfort, floor mats also play a role in protecting your existing home flooring. And not to mention, a form of joint and muscle protection if you’re planning on performing exercises at a relatively higher height.

At a minimum you may want to get a workout mat such as a thicker yoga style mat or EVA foam. Something that you would not need to install with the flooring, but can be easily moved to different workout areas of your calisthenic home gym.


Building any type of home gym should be a fun experience. Figuring out what you would be doing and finding the right equipment to fit those needs is where you should start. Ultimately looking at the space you have and how much everything would cost should be a major role in the deciding factor.

Creating a calisthenic home gym would be a perfect solution if space and cost are limited. And in my opinion you will get much more valuable full body workouts out of it. Typical home gym equipment are limited to certain workouts and are hyper focused on specific muscle groups.

Because it’s all bodyweight exercises with the various progressions involved. Calisthenics builds muscle, is a great source of cardio and full body workouts. All with minimal to no workout equipment.

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